The 2000 "Total" Paris-Dakar-Cairo Rally



At the end of 1998, the management of BMW's Motorcycle Division decided to run "Boxers" in rallying in order to have a means of comparing two alternative design concepts.

A well-known specialist company, HPN, which had built the winning BMW bikes back in the 1980s, was asked to develop a competitive rallying version as a prototype.
The main features were to be, in addition to retention of the bike's classic visual features, optimum weight distribution and enormous endurance potential.

In April 1999 BMW Motorcycles ran one of these prototypes in the Tunisia Rally, in order to compare it directly with rival bikes and reveal its strengths and weaknesses.

Although a 34th place in this event was only a modest result, it was evident that the project showed considerable promise and that there was no call for resignation.

During the summer of 1999 the bike's handling was extensively revised. Weight distribution was improved and the unsprung weight of the shaft drive and rear suspension reduced.

Numerous tests were carried out and it was obvious that progress was being made. The proverbial reliability of this bike as a whole was obvious from the Tunisian Rally result.

A further direct comparison with the competition took place in the Dubai Rally, held in November 1999. A new member of the team, the English rider John Deacon, achieved a highly satisfying 4th place in the overall ratings and thus demonstrated what the "Boxer" is capable of.

Once again, many detail design features have had to be modified if the bike is to have a good chance of success in the forthcoming Dakar Rally.

John Deacon and the other newcomer to the team, Jimmy Lewis from the USA, are particularly impressed by the bike's surprisingly agile handling and the seemingly unlimited power from its engine.

Reducing the engine size to 900 cc in order to comply with the rules for this rally seems to have had no adverse effects. Engine specialist Helmut Mader from Erding, near Munich, had no difficulty in satisfying BMW's demand for a healthy 90 horsepower from this engine, an output that gives it wings when the track opens out enough for high speeds to be reached.

In its latest guise, looking great in its new "Gauloises blue" outfit, our twin-cylinder bike is not only a serious rival to the single-cylinder brigade but a visually attractive one as well.

The trade press has been full of praise for this new "Boxer" and has recalled the successes which the earlier versions once achieved.

(text from the official BMW Motorrad Team Gauloises's web pages 2000)

Technical data R900GS-RR

HPN bike

Engine: BMW R 1150 GS 'Boxer' flat twin
Displacement: 900 cc
Power output: 66 kW / 90 PS at 8.200 rpm
Carburettors: 2 Bing constant speed
Gearbox: BMW R 1150 GS 5-speed

Suspension travel: front 300 mm; rear 300 mm
Front forks: White Power, 48 mm
Rear shock absorber: White Power PDS
Wheelbase 1,597 mm
Castor: 116 mm
Steering head angle: 61.7
Rear sub-frame: bolted, alloy
Rear swinging arm: HPN alloy Paralever
Ground clearance: 311 mm
Seat height: 995 mm

Headlights: two
Navigation: Rally Tripmaster ICO
            Touratech Nav-Assistant???
  Main front: 30 liters
  Side (right) : 10 liters
  Underseat: 3 liters (water)
Exhaust system: two-into-one

Brake discs: front floating, 1 x 300 mm; rear 1 x 285 mm
Brake calipers: Brembo 4-piston

Excel, front 21-inch; rear 18-inch

Tyres: Michelin, front 90/90-21; rear 140/80-18

Weight (dry): 190 kg
R900GS-RR   R900GS-RR





(personnal picture, last test of the bike on 23rd December 1999, Seibersdorf Germany)

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Updated the 27 August 2001